Welcome back to Easy Keto with Tasha! In today’s episode, we’re going to be discussing the best keto flu remedies to help combat all the nasty side effects the come along with it. We’ll be tackling dizziness, headaches, brain fog, cramps, and more!
Easy Keto with Tasha
Before we jump into our keto flu remedies, I wanted to encourage you to check out the previous episodes of Easy Keto with Tasha. I’m so excited that so many people have decided to check out keto in the New Year!
If you’re still figuring out the ins and outs of keto, definitely check out our past episodes. Our first episode reveals the easiest way to start keto, so you can start this diet journey with confidence! We also have tons of resources throughout the site that can help in all aspects of your keto.
Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook
Another resource I wanted to mention is specifically for all of the lady listeners. As you may have heard, Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook was released earlier this month!
This isn’t just any old diet book. Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook is a complete keto resource that will help you customize your keto journey. And it is ENTIRELY focused on the female body! Newcomers and old-timers alike will benefit from this easy-to-follow program!
I do have ONE favor to ask you. When you get your copy (or even if you’ve already received it), I would love if you could leave a review on Amazon! Let me know what your favorite part of the book is so far, or share what you’re most excited about learning. You can do this even if you purchased through a retailer other than Amazon. These reviews are massively helpful in getting a book seen by more people; they also help me know what you guys are really interested in!
Keto Flu & What To Do
Now, let’s get down to business. It’s time to tackle the keto flu. If you’re just starting keto, you’ll want to read closely! Keto flu will hit hardest when you’re beginning your carb restriction.
Despite what the name implies, it’s not actually influenza and you’re not really infected with a virus. That doesn’t mean that you won’t feel terrible like it was the real flu!
Symptoms of the Keto Flu
There are a few tell-tale signs that what you are experiencing is the keto flu. The symptoms of keto flu include:
- Brain fog
- Lack of energy
- Leg cramps
- Heart palpitations
That’s a lot to deal with! Luckily, there are specific keto flu remedies you can use to lessen and prevent these symptoms.
Keto Flu & Fat-Adaptation
One of the main reasons keto flu occurs is because your body is not fat-adapted. This is also why keto flu tends to occur when you’re starting out on keto.
In early carb restriction, your body burns through its glycogen stores, which are the stored carbs in your muscle and liver. Once that glycogen is depleted, your body is forced to rely on other sources of fuel. In turn, your body begins producing ketones and making its own sugar via gluconeogenesis. It’s more simple than it sounds!
Your body has a way of adapting to change once you take carbs away. This change represents a change in metabolic state. In turn, your body shifts to new metabolic pathways in order to burn fat for fuel. When we make this shift, all of our enzymes required to facilitate the oxidization of carbs were in demand. Then, all of our enzymes required to facilitate the oxidation of fat and amino acids are in demand. The enzymes required for gluconeogenesis also become in-demand.
Basically, our bodies start out being better at burning sugar than they are at burning fat. However, our bodies adapt to become better at burning fat. Over time, they become efficient at burning fat. Before you reach efficiency, you are at risk of falling victim to the keto flu.
Brain Fog During the Keto Flu
Your body is used to the metabolic pathways of your high-carb diet. When you first make the shift into a keto diet, the new metabolic pathways are unfamiliar to your body. Because of this, your body doesn’t work very efficiently. That initial brain fog can be frustrating; it can also last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Brain fog might feel like you’re moving in slow motion. You might feel like your head just can’t catch up to the normal-paced world. There might be a constant lack of energy. Your body might feel like it’s moving faster than your mind. Remember, this is simply because your body is not an efficient fat burner yet; it won’t last forever! And luckily, there are keto flu remedies that can help.
Quick Keto Flu Remedies
You have a few options to help you manage, but I’m going to start with the simplest of the keto flu remedies. And that is to wait it out. Be patient, and let your bout of keto flu run its course. This option works best for brain fog and lack of energy, where you’re not really experiencing physical symptoms.
If that doesn’t work for you, then you can support your body with MCTs. MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs are metabolized completely differently than the long-chain triglycerides that make up fat in your diet. They are digested and metabolized much faster and provide quick fat for energy. You can find MCTs naturally in coconut oil. You can also use specific MCT oils or supplements.
Finally, exogenous ketones can offer a quick source of fuel during the keto flu. This will help with the brain fog, sluggishness, and lack of energy. Exogenous ketones can also provide therapeutic relief and athletic support. However, they CAN NOT make you skinny. I repeat, exogenous ketones will not make you skinny.
The Exogenous Ketones Lie
Ketones are not the driving force behind weight loss; a calorie deficit is still required to lose body fat. Exogenous ketone supplements are not magic, and they won’t allow you to eat whatever you want and still be in ketosis. You’re not going to lose body fat just from taking the supplement.
There has been a major influx of people selling exogenous ketones with a lot of false promises. It’s important to remember that shortcuts don’t exist when it comes to dieting. I usually tell people that exogenous ketones are just expensive pee. Ketones spill out into your urine if your body has no need to burn them; your body also produces its own ketones if you’re restricting carbs. However, they can be of assistance as one of the keto flu remedies during early carb restriction.
Keto Flu Remedies for Electrolyte Imbalance
It can be hard to differentiate some of the keto flu symptoms from the real flu. Lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, shakiness, diarrhea, cramps, and feeling blue are all real symptoms of keto flu! Instead of being virus-related, these symptoms are most likely to occur when there is an electrolyte imbalance. Luckily, there are specific keto flu remedies that focus on electrolytes.
The electrolyte imbalance is frequently related to our sodium and potassium levels. Instead of avoiding sodium or limiting how much salt you consume, it is important to maintain your salt intake on keto!
Keto-friendly beverages that help get salt in your diet:
- Salty brines
- Pickle juice
- Sole water
- LMNT supplement mix
- Sugar-free electrolyte drinks (Gatorade, Powerade)
Don’t stop at ensuring your sodium levels are in line! It’s also important to maintain sufficient potassium levels. Depleted potassium causes cramps, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and constipation. Most people will be able to get enough potassium from food.
Keto-friendly foods that are high in potassium:
- Leafy greens
If you are considering a potassium supplement, it is important to talk to your doctor! While high potassium is fine in most diets, there are some medical conditions that do not tolerate it. Your medical provider will help you determine if potassium supplements are safe for you.
Finally, magnesium is helpful in terms of balancing your electrolytes. Low magnesium can cause headaches, migraines, constipation, anxiety, irritability, depression, mood disorders, PMS, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. Magnesium helps support energy production and various cellular processes. However, in this case, it is very important for helping your body make use of the potassium you consume.
Foods that contain magnesium:
- Leafy greens
- Fatty fish
- Dark chocolate
There aren’t many keto-friendly foods that are high in magnesium. Therefore, it is common for people following keto to use magnesium supplements. For supplements, be sure to choose one with good bioavailability, such as magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate.
Sodium & Potassium Balance
The typical Western diet frequently includes high sodium and low potassium foods that can cause excess sodium retention.
When we shift into ketosis, our insulin drops, and our kidneys release sodium; we also dump buckets of water as our glycogen is depleted. The quick-release of sodium triggers a release of potassium to balance it out. This, combined with extra water being shed, flushes out water-soluble vitamins and minerals much faster than what our bodies are typically used to.
Luckily, the aforementioned keto flu remedies can also help maintain the balance of sodium and potassium throughout your diet.
0:03 - Easy Keto with Tasha
0:42 - Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook
1:56 - Keto Flu & What To Do
2:25 - Symptoms of The Keto Flu
3:10 - Keto Flu & Fat-Adaptation
5:58 - Brain Fog During the Keto Flu
7:17 - Quick Keto Flu Remedies
8:55 - The Exogenous Ketones Lie
10:51 - Keto Flu Remedies for Electrolyte Imbalance
11:20 - Sodium & Potassium Balance
12:35 - Sodium
13:40 - Potassium
15:58 - Magnesium
18:29 - Outro
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Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.